The Brooklyn Nets, 34-36, recently clinched the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. They’re currently slated to face off with the defending NBA-champion Toronto Raptors in the first round of the playoffs.
Despite going 1-3 against their divisional rival this season, the Nets feel they have a chance to knock out the Raptors.
Caris LeVert says if the Nets “move the ball well” and “play good defense” they can win the series (quotes per Brian Lewis of the New York Post).
â€œWe know theyâ€™re a really good team. Obviously theyâ€™re playing good basketball, they move the ball really well, theyâ€™re a great defensive team, as well,â€ Caris LeVert said. â€œBut for us, we feel like itâ€™s about us. If we move the ball well, if we play good defense, if weâ€™re locked into the game plan, we can win that series. We truly believe that. So weâ€™re gonna go into that playoff matchup all the way locked in.â€
The Nets are without Spencer Dinwiddie, DeAndre Jordan, Taurean Prince, Wilson Chandler, Nic Claxton, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in the NBA bubble. Despite the aforementioned absences, the Nets have pulled off a handful of impressive victories which include beating the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers.
One of the new faces for the Nets is guard Tyler Johnson.Â Johnson says that if the Nets play their “style of basketball” they can beat anybody.
â€œAs far as going into Toronto, you know what to expect. Then again, thereâ€™s no homecourt advantage. Youâ€™re playing a basketball team in the same spot for however many games it takes to advance,â€ Johnson said. â€œFor us, itâ€™s continue to play our style of basketball. At this point, we understand that, if we do that, weâ€™re capable of beating anybody, and we showed it.â€
Garrett Temple says if the Nets, who are 4-2 in the bubble, continue to “share the ball” and “get stops” they can win some games.
â€œTo clinch seventh was big for us, obviously. We wanted to play whoever was going to be in that second spot, obviously itâ€™s Toronto. We feel confident,â€ Garrett Temple said. â€œWeâ€™re confident. If we play the right way, if we play like weâ€™ve been playing the last 2 or 3 games, share the ball, get stops, even though they turn people over, if weâ€™re able to take care of it and do what weâ€™ve been doing, we have a chance to win some games.â€
Jacque Vaughn is 6-2 since taking over as interim head coach in March.